Unlicensed gun dealer indicted on federal firearms charges

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Updated: 3:35 p.m. | Posted: 12:55 p.m.

A St. Paul man accused of buying dozens of guns online and then reselling them for profit without ensuring that he was dealing with legal buyers has been indicted on federal firearms charges, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.

Some of the guns sold by Eitan Benjamin Feldman were used in area crimes within days of their purchase, the indictment said.

"The Twin Cities are a little safer now that Eitan Feldman is out of business. He's out of the gun business," said James Modzelewski, special agent in charge of the ATF's St. Paul office.

Feldman, 29, faces one count of willfully dealing firearms without a license and nine counts of making a false statement during a firearm purchase.

He was scheduled to make his initial appearance Thursday in federal court. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to comment on his behalf.

According to the indictment, since January 2014, Feldman regularly bought guns from online dealers or auctions and resold them to make money. Over a two-year period, he completed about 18 separate transactions involving about 41 guns.

"Feldman claimed in online ads that he was merely a gun collector, not someone engaged in the business of dealing in firearms," said U.S. Attorney Andy Luger.

Federal law requires that firearms dealers be licensed, and that they ensure sales they conduct are legal.

Last July, an ATF agent told Feldman that some of the guns he sold had been linked to crimes that happened days after Feldman had possession of them. Agents searched Feldman's home and seized five shotguns as well as three bills of sale for four guns.

In October, ATF agents warned Feldman that his behavior fit the definition of a firearms dealer and he was told to stop.

Despite the warning, authorities say he continued to buy and resell firearms, selling at least eight guns from October to January.

The indictment said Feldman sold guns to undercover ATF agents on two occasions — on Dec. 3 and on Jan. 21 — and didn't ask either agent for identification or conduct checks to make sure they weren't barred from owning a gun. During both sales, he also lied about how long he had owned the firearms, claiming he had owned them for months when he actually bought them just days earlier.

The false statement counts allege that Feldman lied about his address when he initially bought the firearms from online sellers.

MPR News reporter Brandt Williams contributed to this report.

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